how hard is the PMP exam

How hard is the PMP exam?

Passing this exam is not an easy task! How hard is the PMP exam? Let's discover everything with our free PMP Practice Test!

January 1, 2022

Being considered the highest standard in project management certifications, the PMP (which stands for the project management professional) is becoming a rigorous test that checks your knowledge and skills related to project management. However, many people have wondered about how hard is the PMP exam and the reasons why it is difficult. Let’s follow this article for more beneficial information.

How hard is the PMP Exam?

So how difficult is it to get PMP certification or is PMP easy to pass? Because it tests the candidate’s in-depth knowledge about Project Management, PMP exam is considered one of the most difficult exams. In order to take the PMP exam, your responsibility is to pass a preparation course which lasts for 35 hours. The purpose of this course is to bring you the fundamental knowledge of both theoretical and even practical knowledge for passing this exam.

To answer the question Is the PMP exam hard, you should first understand the content of the exam. 

PMP Exam Format – PMP Domains 

The current format of the PMP exam has 5 main domains: initiating, planning strategy, monitor-controlling, performing, and finally, closing project. This part can help you with how to study for the new PMP exam.

Meanwhile, there will be the 3 most significant domains in the new format of this exam:

  • People: this domain will emphasize the skillsets or activities related to the experience of leading a team/project.
  • Process: the purpose of this domain is to check your technical ability in managing a team/project as well as other associated aspects.
  • Business Environment: This domain will emphasize the connection between your leading project and the strategy of the whole organization. Therefore, it will test your understanding of the company or organization as well as how you adapt to it.
how hard is the PMP exam
How hard is the PMP exam?

Although the PMP exam is hard, you can increase your chance of passing it by reading How to pass the PMP exam?

The outline of the PMP exam will have:

  • The domain Initiating accounts for 13% questions of the total question
  • The domain Planning accounts for 24% of the total questions
  • The domain Executing accounts for 31% of the total questions
  • The domain Monitoring and Controlling accounts for 25% of the total questions
  • The domain Closing accounts for 7% of the total questions

With the total number of questions as above, spending approximately 60 hours studying for the PMP exam will help you pass this exam. Besides, it is recommended that you should practice simulator questions on a regular basis. So what do you think? Is PMP hard to get?

In addition, the new PMP exam will be a combination of :

  • 180 questions in total
  • 230 minutes to complete all the tasks
  • One more break for the computer-based PMP exam
  • No other breaks for paper-based PMP exam
  • All the questions of the PMP exam will be a combination of the matching, hotspot, fill-in-the-blank, and multiple choices.

Here are the reasons that explain how hard is it to pass the PMP exam. From the format and number of questions, you need to find a study guide that is suitable and effective for your ability to pass this exam.

Choosing the most suitable study materials will help reduce the study time from 75 hours to 40 hours. Furthermore, you should make a clear study plan which is a combination of mock questions, and preparing documents that bring detailed knowledge about the project management field.

To understand more about the new PMP exam difficulty, read more about

Visit our websites to get more information and free PMP Practice Exam

What is the PMP pass rate or PMP failure rate?

Due to the complex structure and difficult questions, the pass rate is so low is predictable. Remember that the PMI reluctantly does not make public the pass or failure rates of the PMP exam. There are huge estimations from the Internet which are usually launched by providers of 35-hour prep courses.

One of the most significant estimated PMP passing rate is 50-60% on the first try, while the failure rate has fluctuated between 40-50%. This has explained how difficult is the PMP exam.

Reasons for failing the PMP exam

Each individual will have different difficulties in completing the PMP test. Difficulties may come from the test, the candidate’s mental state, or external factors… Here are the basic difficulties that hinder the success of the candidate in completing the PMP test.

  • Plenty of materials

PMP is a difficult exam, and the test takers are mostly people with considerable knowledge and experience. Therefore, the first difficulty that you may face is the overwhelmed amount of material. It will take you a great deal of time just to complete the PMBOK. If you are a person who does not have much experience, you do not even know where to start learning because there is so much material.

  • The complexity of the structure

Obviously, an overly complicated exam structure with a large number of domains and questions will hinder you from completing this test. You may not even score points if your answer is based on your personal experience (although it may be correct). The most effective method is to follow the PMI’s standard.

  • The difficulty of all the questions

Undoubtedly, the questions in the PMP test are generally complicated and easy to make mistakes. It takes you a period of time just to become familiar with the format and how to answer all the PMI questions.

 You can read about the PMP examples to understand the types of questions tested in the PMP exam. 

  • Poor preparation

A remarkable culprit behind the failure of many candidates is a lack of preparation. When you do not spend enough time studying and discovering the materials, it is impossible for you to have a comprehensive knowledge of the material. Candidates often have the habit of cramming knowledge just before the test in the hope of achieving maximum efficiency. However, this habit can negatively affect your performance. Cramming can’t make you better but stress and disappointment. Remember, adding knowledge is a long process that requires huge time and effort.

Learn how to be better prepared for the test with PMP Exam Preparation

  • Schedule unsuitable registration

When scheduling a specific registration, candidates will be motivated to study harder and vice versa. In case you register for the test too early, you will not have enough time to prepare mentally and physically. On the contrary, if you register for the test too late, it just makes you feel stressed and discouraged. Therefore, remember to take a test registration schedule that suits your ability and objectives.

  • Only use free materials instead of preparing course

Self-study is good, but you can hardly succeed without taking any PMP certification course. Only using free tools or materials can lead you to failure in this exam. This is because the free materials updated online may be outdated or unverified.

Don’t hesitate to pay a certain amount for reliable materials, for example, materials that the PMP certification training provider offers.

  • Overconfidence

Most of the candidates for the PMP exam are project managers with lots of experience in leading a team or project. Many of them strongly believe that their previous experience or knowledge gained through the leading process is enough to help them pass the PMP. Therefore, they often skip the process of reviewing and studying the Guide terms and practices of PMBOK.

  • Anxiety

Since this is such an important exam, many candidates often feel nervous and stressed. The reason may be that they are not confident and capable of their own, or have psychological problems. But remember when you can master the material, you will feel more confident in this test.

The above article has answered the question: how hard is the PMP exam as well as provided you with the reasons why this exam is too difficult. We hope that you will get more beneficial information about this exam and achieve a good score. Good luck!

To download the free PMP Practice Test, visit our website for your IOS or Android device.